Meet the “Olympics Man” Who Cycled from China to Rio in a Tiny Rickshaw
If you thought you were a fan of the Olympics, think again.
A Chinese man has spent the previous three years cycling through the Americas in order to reach the city of Rio in time for the Olympic celebrations. His long journey took him through Canada, the USA, Mexico and onto Central and South America.
I’m not sure about you, but even the thought of such an adventure is making my legs hurt, and what makes Chen’s achievements even more staggering is his method of transportation. For Chen, a bicycle is not nearly sufficient. Instead, he pedals his traditional and aging rickshaw across borders, using it for transportation and sleeping.
Chen’s interest in the Olympics began in 2001 when it was announced that Beijing would be hosting the 2008 competitions. His first journey involved travelling over an 800km stretch from his home town in the Tong Shang district of China, to the newly built Bird’s Nest Stadium in the city of Beijing.
Two years later, he headed out again in time for the 2012 Olympics in England. This time, travelling a staggering 60,000km through 16 different countries and thousands of cities before making it to London on July 9th, 2012.
It is hard to believe his rickshaw has traveled such distances, which could be a large reason why people all around the world have flocked to support him. Locals and tourists alike have shared photos, stories and inspiration with him through a dedicated Facebook page, allowing those from home and abroad to remain in the loop.
What initially started as a once off adventure has turned into a way of life for Chen and a desire to share his knowledge, stories and unique understanding with the world. Back in 2013, Chen said “This is my job now, to tell the people of the world about the Olympics and about peace” adding “I will keep on going. I’ll never stop doing the job I love until I die.”